Traveling with a sensitive toddler can be overwhelming. Long car or plane trips, new environments that mess up your routine, bags upon bags of baby supplies — these are just a few of the barriers that can make it feel as though traveling is impossible for this season of life. I mean, traveling can be challenging in the best of times, so when you know you’ll have a travel companion that is liable to become whiny and nervous after even small disturbances to their everyday routine, why even bother? But wait, hold that thought…it is worth the effort if you can get over the initial snags.
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Traveling forms lasting memories and increases family bonding, and it truly can be enjoyed even with a sensitive toddler. Use these tips for traveling with a sensitive toddler to turn up the fun and turn down the troubles on a vacation with your little ones:
Tips for Traveling with a Sensitive Toddler
Whether you have a sensitive toddler or not, their favorite stuffy (or 3 lol!) are a must have on any trip. The stuffy’s bring normalcy to the new environment they are entering.
Bring a surprise toy from home:
Having a toy that you bring to show your toddler part way through the trip is a nice surprise for your toddler. Not only will this lift their spirit but it also helps bring a sense of home to wherever you have traveled.
Pack comfort food:
Bring snacks that your little one is used to eating. Having a few snacks that they are used to eating will reduce the amount of change that is happening on the trip. Just having it will also give you peace of mind if you cannot find somewhere to eat right away.
Make a list:
Packing a bag was much easier when you just had yourself to worry about. Start planning your packing list at least a few days in advance of your trip. You’re almost always bound to forget SOMETHING, but this way you’re less likely to forget something really important. Hold on to this list for your next trip and save yourself some time.
Expect transition time. Allow your toddler to explore the new place that they are staying and get excited about it. Show them where they will be sleeping, where you and any siblings will be sleeping. Give them time to take in their surroundings to become familiar with their new digs.
By Plane: Travel in the morning. If they are still napping in the afternoon you can have them sleep in the stroller, carrier, hotel or in the taxi from the airport to the hotel.
By Car: Travel during naptime if possible. If it is a longer drive then split it up into two chunks. Travel in the morning, then stop for a movement break and some lunch. Fire up the car again for naptime.